Despite a dramatic decline in total industry orders, Airbus Helicopters Inc. and Airbus Helicopters Canada Ltd. delivered 60 new helicopters to the civil and para-public market in 2016 – 50% of the total deliveries in North America. The companies booked 64 orders for new aircraft, an estimated 73% of all new North American helicopter orders. The order book listed 20 new customers, including five that had not previously owned or operated a helicopter.
New aircraft orders in 2016 included 33 H125 AStars built in Columbus, Mississippi, a single-engine helicopter for law enforcement, air medical transport, utility, and corporate/VIP customers. Airbus posted seven orders for its latest twin-engine H145 rotorcraft, five earlier models in the H145 family, nine H130s, and seven H135s.
Strong growth in business from corporate and VIP customers in 2016 softened the decline in sales in other market segments.
Airbus Helicopters Inc.’s military business also flourished. The company delivered 35 UH-72A Lakotas to the U.S. Army and secured a five-year, $1 billion contract from the Army to provide logistics support for Lakotas based in and outside the continental U.S. www.airbushelicopters.ca; www.airbushelicoptersinc.com
Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence partners with Wichita State University
In a technology partnership with Wichita State University (WSU), Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence will lease 3,000ft2 of space near the university’s 3DExperience Center in the Experiential Engineering Building on WSU’s Innovation Campus.
Through this partnership, educators and students will have access to Hexagon software and precision metrology systems for the collection, analysis, and active use of measurement data in aerospace and other industrial sectors.
The commitment extends a five-year partnership with WSU’s National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR). Hexagon and NIAR have cooperatively developed an automated scanning solution for customer applications and hosted technology workshops and training events.
“Using Hexagon equipment, we are able to demonstrate to the aerospace industry how fast parts can be inspected and measured to a very high degree of accuracy,” says Brian Brown, NIAR director of robotics and automation.
“This strategic partnership with NIAR gives Hexagon another research platform to take on complex manufacturing issues and pioneer tech-enabled breakthroughs in the aviation industry,” states Angus Taylor, president and CEO of Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence North America. Hexagon will employ full-time staff at the campus to facilitate research and development and support their local customer base. The company will also introduce an internship program for the Midwestern states. Students will have access to state-of-the-art industrial metrology software and systems, which will help lead to job placement opportunities in manufacturing. www.hexagonmi.com; www.niar.wichita.edu; www.wichita.edu
Sofitec obtains contract with Premium Aerotec
German Tier 1 supplier Premium Aerotec has awarded Sofitec a $47.85 million contract associated with the Airbus A350XWB program and its 900 and 1000 versions. Aerotec supplies structural parts for Airbus’ A350 XWB, Eurofighter, and A400M, and Boeing’s B787 Dreamliner. The award makes the Seville aeronautical company Sofitec the sole Spanish supplier of composites to Aerotec. www.premium-aerotec.com; www.sofitec.es
Allied Machine purchases Superion Inc.
Dover, Ohio-based Allied Machine & Engineering, a manufacturer of holemaking and finishing tooling systems, has purchased Superion Inc. of Xenia, Ohio.
Superion is a manufacturer of solid carbide and PCD-tipped rotary cutting tools such as end mills, reamers, drills, and step tools. The company is recognized for developing customized solutions in specialty tooling. Customer sales and support will continue to be provided by both Allied and Superion. www.alliedmachine.com; www.superioninc.com